(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The Sympathy of Christ")
To affirm, as the Scriptures of truth positively do,
that mankind is originally and totally depraved, is
but to portray it with every feature of its pristine
nobleness, purity, and excellence utterly spoiled!
Mankind has become the living embodiment,
the acting impersonation, the very incarnation
of fallen SELF love; SELF love in the form of
The original Center of the soul forsaken,
man had become a center to himSELF.
The God He worshiped, was the deification of SELF.
The religion He professed, was the adoration of SELF.
The powers He cultivated were consecrated to SELF.
His whole existence was one act of service and devotion to SELF.
The Divine Center abandoned,
He knew no other god,
acknowledged no other sufficiency,
recognized no other end than himSELF.
Every faculty and thought, every affection and action,
was made to contribute to the cloud of incense which
rose as in one dense column before this little idol, SELF.
SELF the last;
SELF all in all!
And is it not so now?
SELF, in some shape, is still the Deity of the natural man!
is still the universal sin of our nature,
exhibited in one or more of its thousand modifications,
its endless forms.
All are in pursuit either of wealth, or ambition,
or pleasure, or honor, or gratification under the
'law of SELFishness'.
is the only recognized principle and rule of
action which regulates the conduct of the great
majority of our depraved species.
The indictment is heavy, the picture is dark, the
sin is awful, we admit; but it is borne out by daily
observation and frequent experience, and by the
faithful, unerring Word of God, "All men seek their own."
What, we ask, is all this....
this SELF exaltism?
this envy and jealousy?
this attempt to supplant others in esteem, influence, and power?
this prodigality and love of worldly show?
this eager chase of wealth?
this covetousness and penuriousness?
this love of ease and sloth?
this niggardly dole of charity?
this cruel, heartless, grinding oppression?
this growing sensuality and crime?
What, we ask, is all this, and a thousand times more,
but the one appalling, cancerous sin of SELFishness
existing in the very heart of depravity, and sending
its fatal poison along all the fibers of human society?